A young girl rang and asked if I could provide crowd control for an after-formal party for 400 teens in an inner-Melbourne factory area.
She couldn’t believe I was concerned when she told me:
- The school didn’t want to know about it. (No kidding!)
- Only two parents would assist … then leave after just one hour.
- It was BYO alcohol (and everything else) as they couldn’t be bothered sorting this out.
- The average guest age was 16.
- Police hadn’t been notified. (I wonder why?)
Father Knows Best?
Having planned and worked at 600 teen parties, I know how to do pre-party assessments for parents.
These include making the venue safe, preventing unwanted guests and planning for risks, alcohol and transport.
A father decided that, despite my vast experience, he didn’t want any restrictions on his son’s 18th birthday (or his 60 teenage guests).
He ‘knew them all’; they were ‘good kids’. Yet he did ask if my staff would break up any fights.
Not on my watch! I provide a safe environment for my staff and the people they protect.
This is called:
Write it down, before it bites you on the bum.
Begging for Trouble
A young man asked me to provide security for 350 16-year-olds in the western suburbs. Once again, just two parents home, unrestricted alcohol and not a word to the cops.
Recipe for disaster doesn’t begin to cover this.
Out of Her Mind
A mother asked me about security for a teenage party:
- 50 kids? Yep.
- Eastern suburbs? Yep.
- Alcohol? Not restricted.
- Parents? Nup.
The mother was going overseas that weekend, leaving her teen to party with 50 others in her house. Pity her neighbour! Yet she whinged about a recent party that had deposited underwear and empty booze bottles in her yard!
Are you getting this?!
Crash & Burn
Two distressed mothers enquired about crowd control for their teens’ birthday. Their kids had been at the same party a few weeks ago. This party had parents ‘doing security’ -thinking anyone can perform this demanding and difficult job.
Two hours in, 20 gatecrashers arrived, started a brawl, injured guests and ended the event.
The birthday boy was shattered that he couldn’t celebrate his special day.
The Usual Suspects
All this happened in the last few weeks. The usual common elements are:
Alcohol control. If you don’t restrict grog, guests will fight, vomit or pass out. If not this time, then the next. Your luck will run out.
Police notification. It’s extremely stressful for police to attend an event they know nothing about. Do the right thing and inform them. You may need them more than you could ever imagine.
Duty of care. If you don’t provide a safe environment for guests and neighbours, you could be liable. Think before you plan a party and ensure parents are there to assist.
I’ll cover social media in detail soon. For now, do NOT promote any event on social networking spaces unless you want it to end in anti-social behaviour!
I’m not the party police, but I do know how to ensure everyone has a great time at yours.
Ignore these warnings at your (considerable) peril.
Naomi Oakley, Founder, Safe Partying Australia.